By Veronica Sliva
Red Roses are one of the most recognizable flowering plants in western culture, but there are a few things new gardeners need to know before tackling the task of growing these beautiful plants.
Believe it or not, the best time to plant red roses is in the fall. Unfortunately, most garden centres have meager offerings at that time of the year, so most of us plant them in the spring. If these flowering plants are to become beautiful plants they require a lot of care when planting.
After you have purchased a new red rose plant, it is critical not to let the roots dry out. The ideal would be to prepare the planting hole before purchasing your red roses.
Preparation of the soil prior to planting is important for optimum growth of flowering plants. Red roses prefer a clay-based soil, but they can be grown in almost any type if a lot of organic matter is worked in.
Red rose and flowering plant preparation guide
-Dig the hole large enough so that the roots of the red rose plant can spread out completely.
-Flowering plants thrive if you mix well-rotted or composted cattle manure into the soil along with a liberal addition of compost or peat moss.
- Place the red rose plant into the hole so that the swollen area on the stem (called the crown or bud union) is about an inch below the soil's surface.
- Pack the soil around the roots so that they are in contact with the soil and there are no air pockets around the roots.
- Soak the red rose thoroughly.
-At the time of planting, prune the red rose plant to three or four branches from the base, cutting them back to about four or five inches above the ground. This encourages the rose to establish strong roots, which results in healthier and more beautiful plants. The exception to this is the ever-blooming climbers that should be pruned after blooming.
Taking care of your red roses
Once your red roses are well-established and growing, preferably after the first bloom, apply a red rose fertilizer formula available at all nurseries and garden centers. Red roses should not be fed after July since this encourages soft growth and raises the risk of winterkill.
Red roses, and other flowering plants, are affected by fungi such as powdery mildew or black spot and are bothered by aphids or mites. Garden centres have many products to deal with these problems and help maintain the integrity of these beautiful plants.
Red roses, like other flowering plants, require good drainage and they also need a lot of water during the growing season. If the weather has been dry, they should be soaked once or twice a week, depending on how your soil holds water. Water either in late afternoon or early morning, being careful to water at the soil level, rather than spraying off any dusting chemicals you may have applied to the leaves.
With proper care, your red roses will remain beautiful plans throughout the gardening season, making your garden the envy of the neighbourhood!
For more information on growing these beautiful plants, or tip on growing other flowering plants be sure to check our additional gardening articles.